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Patrick Lynch, the police union president, defended police officers accused in a series of indictments handed down by a Bronx grand jury. In all, 16 officers have been indicted–including union delegates–10 for fixing hundreds of tickets, and six for unrelated corruption charges
Faced with such a task, Lynch took an interesting tack, arguing that ticket fixing has been going on for a long time, and is something that happens in the course of business. “We are here to ask the question: when did courtesy become a crime,” he wondered.
“These officers should not be facing criminal charges for a something that has been a long standing practice at all levels of the department,” he declared.
Lynch also pointed out something we have been wondering: how is it that no senior police officials were indicted? We really doubt that no captains, inspectors or chiefs fixed tickets during their careers.
“And most importantly, with all of the resources put into this investigation by the Internal Affairs Bureau and the Bronx District Attorney’s office, why it is mostly rank and file police officers here in court today when the practice of extending courtesy is and has been practiced at all levels of the NYPD for a hundred years,” Lynch said.
Lynch also wondered why no is investigating the steady stream of leaks from the grand jury to the press, which is kind of a good point, especially since an Internal Affairs lieutenant was indicted for leaking to the union.
The indictments make clear that there were go to people in the NYPD who would “take care” of tickets. In other words, it wasn’t something that individual officers did on the spur of the moment. Instead, there was a system in place.
Among the other misconduct: leaking the name of a confidential police informant, and selling illegal bootleg videos.